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Finnish investor Remes to seek cancellation of ban on entry into Russia

April 01, 2015, 15:29 UTC+3 HELSINKI
Finnish citizen Remes, a key figure in Russia’s electric power sector reform and an investor in the electricity sector, had been banned from entering Russia for five years
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Seppo Remes

Seppo Remes

© ITAR-TASS/Valery Sharifulin

HELSINKI, April 1. /TASS/. Finnish investor Seppo Remes who has been reportedly banned by Russia’s Federal Security Service to enter into the country said on Wednesday he intended to seek the ban cancellation,

"What I’m planning to do is most probably to use all my contacts in Russia so that they can influence the decision," Remes said, adding, however, he didn’t intend to turn to official agencies or a court with this issue.

Media reports said earlier on Wednesday the Federal Security Service of Russia had banned Finnish citizen Remes, a key figure in Russia’s electric power sector reform and an investor in the electricity sector, to enter the country for a period of five years, even though his working visa was valid until November this year.

Remes, the owner of Kiuru consulting firm, is considered as a key member of the team of Anatoly Chubais, the architect of the voucher privatization in Russia in the early 1990s and the reformer of RAO UES electric power monopoly.

Remes also co-owns the Swedish investment fund EOS, which holds minority stakes in regional power utilities and grid companies integrated into Russia’s Federal Grid Company Rosseti, and also in the Far Eastern energy company RAO Energy System of East controlled by RusHydro hydropower group and is its head.

Remes is also an independent director in the board of Rosseti, Sibur petrochemical firm, Rusnano hi-tech government corporation and Sollers auto maker.

According to Russian business dailies Vedomosti and Kommersant, in early March when Remes was leaving Russia, he was given a notice "on the inadmissibility of actions creating conditions for committing crimes."

Russia’s Federal Security Service said it had no information that Remes was collecting and transferring data to foreign intelligence services and therefore there were no grounds for instituting criminal proceedings against him on the charges of espionage.

The FSB has declined to reply to the papers’ inquiries.

Rosseti and Rusnano told Kommersant they knew about the Remes problem while Sibur and Sollers declined any comment.

A Rusnano spokesman said Remes continued to be a member of the company’s board of directors and head of the auditing committee.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov could not comment on Wednesday on an entry ban imposed on Finnish investor Remes.

When asked by journalists whether this instance could affect the investment climate in Russia, the Kremlin spokesman said: "I don’t even know who he is and so I can’t answer your question.".

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